The BVA has launched resources designed to support increased flexible working within the profession.
With veterinary shortages causing recruitment and retention issues across many sectors of the profession, the BVA is launching a campaign encouraging employers to consider whether flexible working might improve job satisfaction among their employees.
Statistics from the Voice of the Veterinary Profession Autumn 2021 survey show that levels of flexible working have risen in the profession in recent years, jumping from 44% in 2019 to 50% in 2021.
But the survey also showed many vets would like to work more flexibly than they currently do. Among those who do not work flexibly, 53% would like to and even among those who already work flexibly 36% would like more flexibility.
The campaign, launched as part of the BVA’s Good Veterinary Workplaces initiative, includes new resources to support both veterinary employees seeking increased flexibility and veterinary employers interested in exploring this approach for their team.
There is a particular focus on the practicalities of introducing flexible working in clinical settings, where rates of flexible working remain much lower (44% versus 67%).
BVA junior vice-president Malcolm Morley said: “The statistics clearly show that there is a huge appetite for more flexibility in working hours – particularly in clinical practice, where employers have previously been quite hesitant to explore this option.
“We understand that there are potential challenges to allowing more flexibility, but we’re hoping to demonstrate that these are not insurmountable.
“It’s vital that the profession recognizes that inflexible working patterns contribute to poor retention – recognition is the first stage in finding a solution.
“Embracing developments in flexible working could increase job satisfaction for many team members and ultimately improve retention.”
Retention and recruitment
The new booklet, “Flexible working: embracing flexibility in the veterinary profession”, includes facts, figures and case studies to help demonstrate how flexible working can benefit both employers and employees in a range of different veterinary teams and, ultimately, bolster retention and recruitment .
It also offers tips and advice on tackling some of the challenges that can arise when introducing increased flexibility into a clinical workplace.